Does it snow in London? All you Need to Know!

Does it snow in London? The short answer is yes, it CAN snow in London, but does it? If you are wondering, read this post and find out.

London is one of the world’s best cities, with so much to see and do.

Visitors to England’s capital city can visit some of the most famous attractions in the world such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye, not to mention the historic buildings, fantastic food, and cultural events that are always happening in the city. 

London, like the rest of the UK, sees fairly cold weather during the year. The city is usually a few degrees warmer than other parts of the country during all seasons since it has so many people and is very densely built.

In the summertime, average temperatures of 25 are common, however, in recent years, 30 is becoming more regular, and just a few years ago it reached 40!

Spring and autumn are both slightly colder, with much more rain, while wintertime often drops to freezing, and sometimes the city gets snow!

London in December
London in December

Does it snow in London? 

There isn’t a set answer to the question, does it snow in London – sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Most years, London is very cold in winter but not cold enough to see snow. If you’re lucky, there might be a light dusting of snow, which was seen for a day over Christmas 2022, but normally it doesn’t settle and it is only a few centimeters.

However, as time goes on and due to climate change, London has seen much hotter summers and far colder winters, so in the future, it may be more and more likely the capital will get snow in the winter!

In the older days, such as in the 1900s, there were even occasions when London would be covered in snow, and it was so cold that the River Thames froze over, so people went skating on it!

When does it snow in London? 

The only time you may be lucky enough to experience snow in London is during winter, since the city has a temperate climate.

Winter in England lasts from November until March, although this can change slightly each year.

The months you are most likely to see snow in London are December, January, and February, which are the coldest months of the year. 

Snow in London
Iconic red phone booths, London – photo from Canva

London in November 

London in November rarely has any snow, but it is the month when temperatures begin to drop for winter.

At the start of November, the city is still in autumn so temperatures could be as high as 15 degrees.

However, the average temperature in London in November is between 7 and 12, and many days in November will be filled with rain or fog. But don’t worry, as many of these days will only have rain for a few hours before there are blue skies again!

London in December

December is London’s Christmassy winter month when the city becomes very cold, there is often rain, mist, and frost, and if you’re lucky there may be some snow.

The average temperature is between 5 and 9, so you will definitely need a warm coat, scarf, and gloves!

If you are hoping to see snow in London in December, it will not happen at the beginning of the month.

You are more likely to see some light snow falling towards the end of December or even around New Year’s Eve. 

London in January 

London in January has almost the same weather as in December, with average temperatures between 4 and 9.

However, it feels much colder and at night the city can be freezing, and there is no Christmas to look forward to, so it appears that the bad weather goes on forever!

January is the month there is most likely to be snow in London since it is the coldest month of the year.

Despite this, even if the city does see snow, it is probably only a small amount and it will melt after a day or two. 

London snow storm
A rare London snowstorm – photo from Canva

London in February 

February is again similar to December and January when temperatures are as low as 4.

It gets much colder in the early morning and evenings and can drop below freezing right down to -5.

It is not common for London to have snow in February, but with the cold temperatures, it is not unlikely it may occur.

As the seasons begin to very slowly move into spring, there will be a lot more rain and wind rather than snow.  

London in March 

London in March is normally noticeably warmer, and has more similar temperatures to October or November, with an average of between 6-12.

Because of this, it is very unlikely there will be snow in London in March, due to the warmer weather and the beginning of Spring.

On the other hand, it is a beautiful time to be in the city despite the rain, as the trees, flowers, and parks begin to bloom again.

15 Things to do in London when it snows 

1. Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park is one of London’s most classic activities during winter. It is the city’s biggest winter market, with lots of food stalls, rides, entertainment and an ice rink.

The market isn’t expensive to get into but it is always busy, and it usually takes place between November and December.

A tip for Winter Wonderland is that if you only want to spend money on a few rides, choose the Ferris wheel, where you’ll get the most amazing views of London!

2. Go sledding

You may not have thought you could go sledding in London, but there are so many parks with hills in London.

One of the most popular for sledding in the snow is Hampstead Heath, from where you can see the city skyline, but you could also go sledding at Primrose Hill or Greenwich Park. 

3. Enjoy a hot pub lunch

Does it snow in London - Pub in London street view
Charming English pub, London – photo from Canva

After enjoying the snow in London, a hot pub lunch – which is a classic British pastime, is a must-do in the city.

Choosing a pub depends on where you are in London, but there’s usually one on every corner.

Pick a dish that’s famously British, such as sausages and mash or a big roast dinner and you’ll be warmed up in no time. 

4. Admire the view

The view over London is amazing on any day, but in the snow, it’s particularly beautiful.

You could aim for a simple view, such as by walking along the River Thames, where you can see many famous buildings.

Alternatively, head to The Shard or the Walkie-Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street) to get incredible views from the top floor (the latter is also free!). 

5. Go for a winter walk

Going for a wintry walk is universal, however, snow is rare in London so taking a walk through the city when it’s snowing is very special.

You could walk along the river, or through Hyde Park, or even around the West End, where you’ll likely see very few people since everyone will be keen to escape the cold! 

big ben in london in a cloudy sky
Photo credit @Walkerssk

6. Try indoor skiing

Snow is perfect for putting people in the mood for winter sports and if sledding or ice skating isn’t quite exciting enough, you could head to the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, which has great indoor slopes for skiing and snowboarding, plus instructors if it’s your first time trying it out! 

This is definitely one of the most non-touristy things to do in London and you will see many locals enjoying some winter sports.

7. Visit a winter market

Winter Wonderland isn’t the only market in London, in fact, the city has endless winter markets to explore.

From the cute German market in Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square to the twinkling international market on the Southbank and the local one out in Greenwich, you could go to a different one each day of the week!

people by colorful market stands

8. Seek out a hot drink

You’ll certainly need to warm up after all the walking and sightseeing in the snow, and the good news is that you don’t need to go to any old Starbucks to get a hot drink.

Sip on some delicious mulled wine from a winter market, or check out some of London’s best hot chocolates – the top favorites are from CinCin and Italian Bear Chocolate in Soho.

9. Explore a museum 

Another more cultured way to warm up when it is snowing in London is to visit one of the capital’s many great museums.

Head to South Kensington where you’ll find the best ones all in one place, so that you can visit the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and V&A in one go. 

10. Shopping for warm clothes

Have you come to London and been caught out by the snow? You’ll definitely need to find some warm clothes, a scarf, a hat, and some gloves before exploring the city.

A few places to do this could be the modern shopping center Westfield, the buzzing Camden Market, or a local boutique on King’s Road.

Camden Market in London
Camden Market in London – photo from Canva

11. Go ice skating

Snow and ice skating go hand in hand, there is nothing more magical in winter. London usually has many ice rinks which run from November until the start of January, such as Somerset House, which has a pretty ski lodge, Battersea Power Station which is right on the river, and Canary Wharf. 

12. Explore a local market

Once you’ve seen the winter markets, London doesn’t stop there. For some of the most incredible food stalls, head to Borough Market, for souvenirs, live music, and even more food, Camden Market is ideal, or for cute clothes and jewelry, try Spitalfields Market in East London. 

13. Visit an indoor attraction

Although London is a beautiful city with lots of historical buildings and landmarks, many of the best sights are actually hidden away indoors.

This could be anything from visiting a fun comedy or live music show, enjoying a very British afternoon tea in one of the city’s famous hotels like The Ritz, or wandering around the indoor tunnels on Portobello Road for antiques. 

14. See a West End show

London’s West End is as integral to the city as Broadway is to New York, so you can’t visit the capital without seeing a show.

After a day enjoying the snow, watching a show in a beautiful theatre is the perfect evening activity too.

If you’re still in a winter mood, you could watch Frozen the Musical, or alternative brilliant shows include The Lion King, Les Miserables, and Hamilton. 

15. Take a boat trip

London eye - London travel tips for first timers

What could be more picturesque than seeing the snowfall in London while cruising along the River Thames in a glass boat?

Not only will you get to see all of London’s most famous sights from the water, such as the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Shard, but many boat cruises offer lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea. 

Does it snow in London? FAQs

Now we have answered the basics of the question, ‘does it snow in London?’, there are still a few things you might be wondering if you’re planning to visit England’s capital city during the winter time.

So, we’ve put together some handy FAQs that will answer any questions you still have.

How much does it snow in London?

According to statistics, London sees an average of 16 days of snow throughout the whole year, however some years it could be as low as just five or ten days.

The city never gets more than one or two inches of snow per year, and in fact, on the days that it snows, it is usually just a few centimeters which will quickly melt overnight. 

Lambeth bridge, big ben, parliament in London
Big Ben, House of Parliament, and Lambeth bridge views in London – photo from Canva

What month does it usually snow in London? 

The most common months for snow in London are December and January, which are the coldest months of the year in the city.

Occasionally, snow may also fall in February but this is less common. 

Does it snow in London at Christmas? 

If you’re lucky! Since snow is not common in London, there is even less chance it will fall perfectly on Christmas Day and create a winter wonderland.

The last time this happened was in 2010 and it has only happened four times in the past 40 years. 

What is London’s coldest month? 

January is undoubtedly London’s coldest month, although the temperatures in January and February are very similar.

In January, temperatures drop to around 4 during the day, and it can easily fall below freezing at night.

In January 2023, London is experiencing temperatures of -4 at night, so it could become even colder in the future. 

London street view with telephone box
London street view with telephone box – photo from Canva

Which part of the UK has snow?

Although most of the UK has snow, if you are looking for a true winter wonderland, the north of England and all of Scotland get lots of snow.

In Scotland particularly, there are many mountains and the Highlands, and it is not very far from the Arctic Circle, so the country gets extremely heavy snow throughout winter. 

Does Paris get snow?

Paris has a very similar climate to London, so snow is not very common in the French capital.

The most common time to see snow in Paris is between January and March, however, it is normally just a thin layer and won’t stick to the ground. 

Which city in England has the most snow? 

There is no one city that has the most snow in England, however, the small village of Copley in Durham in northern England is classed as the snowiest place in the whole country.

Based on this, nearby cities such as Middlesbrough and Newcastle upon Tyne are probably the cities with the most snow. 

What is the coldest city in the UK? 

The coldest city in the UK changes each year depending on the temperatures. Usually, cities in Scotland take the top spot, such as Dundee and Perth which are extremely far north.

Braemer in Aberdeenshire in Scotland was recorded as the coldest town in the UK in 2022. 

What is the snowiest city in the world? 

The snowiest city in the world is called Aomori, which is located in Japan on the far north of Honshu Island.

Every year, they have an average snowfall of 312 inches!